There was one summer when I was teenager when I loved roller coasters. It was on a trip to Holiday World to Santa Claus, Indiana when I rode roller coasters more in two days than I ever will for the rest of my life. I even rode with no hands because that’s the kind of rebel I was at the time.
Another time in my life, I rode the Gemini at Cedar Point and hated every second of it. I remember clutching my mom’s arm, screaming, squeezing my eyes shut as if to will the whole experience out of my mind.
Usually, I think of myself as a “safe” person. I don’t like taking risks, like riding roller coasters. That just seems like a chance to die, and I’d rather not. I don’t know what got into me those two days many years ago, but I’ll probably never willingly ride a roller coaster again. Experiences like those are reasons why I think I’m a safe player.
But…I’m also really, really not. At least, over the course of the past six years, “safe” has seemed to disappear from my vocabulary.
In the fall, I learned a “trick” that changed the way I thought about God’s role in my life. I had always been told that I can trust God because of what He has done for me before. What I never considered was actually going back and going through the times that God really was faithful. Not just quickly reminiscing, but actually thinking on them, writing them out, recalling exactly how fearful I was in those moments and just how faithful God has truly been up until this point.
Not only is this applicable in my own life, I’ve started doing this as I’m reading the Bible. Again, I’ve known for years that the Bible is so obviously connected, but I really didn’t know how. It was when I started looking back in all the stories in books previous on how God showed Himself a faithful God that I understood His majesty every more.
It sounds so simple. But it was something I only began practicing recently.
Contrary to my own belief, I’ve shown myself as risky. Sometimes irresponsibly so, other times, enabled by faith to jump without seeing the landing.
It stresses me out a little. What will happen next? What are ya gonna do, God, that’s going to flip my world upside down? It seems that the pattern of our life is such: know God is nudging us in a crazy, uncomfortable place, go to said place, feel like we’re free-falling, find solid footing on God’s promises. I’m always looking back with my mouth wide-open in awe.
You did all that, God? You did that for us?
Can I shine light on you for a moment? You don’t have to be risky, jumping always, or doing things that just seem crazy for God to be real in your life. You don’t have to be me. You don’t even have to add “risky” to your vocabulary. But I’m looking back at all the stories I know, in the Bible and in my own life, and it is true that God asks us to do things that do not have a solid path. The details seem to ornate, the path to the destination seems impossible. If I’ve learned anything, it just means that I jump with my eyes looking up. It means I look up to my Creator and know He’s not going to let me fall out of His hand. I might fall and hit my face, but He’s not going to laugh. He’s going to pull me back up.
Maybe, contrary to popular or your own belief, you can do what you pledged you wouldn’t.
Maybe if you look back on the stories of your own life, you’ll see just how much God has moved in ways you thought you couldn’t.